There is little doubt that many of the wild apple varieties that I come across on my travels (and often subsequently use for cider) are unidentified species. Within a ten mile radius of where I live there are probably hundreds tucked away in roadside hedgerows, beside old railway embankments and the like... So when you hear of people talking about numbers of apple varieties you can smile - it's only the tip of the iceberg!
Every year that passes sees, usually, another half-dozen to add to my list of sources for some of that valuable tannin to give my cider a fuller flavour. So what are the chances then of selecting and propogating the better of these with a view to obtaining a more abundant supply? Well, for cider making, even on an enthusiastic amateur scale, the answer is: virtually nil!
Or is it..?